Tuesday, August 7, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Farmers of 9 villages protest against evacuation
Land acquired by IAF firing range
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Construction of a wall under progress in Talwandi Mallian by air force station, Halwara on Monday.
Construction of a wall under progress in Talwandi Mallian by Air Force Station, Halwara, on Monday.
— Photo by Inderjit Verma.

Jagraon (Ludhiana), August 6
Farmers of around nine villages in Jagraon tehsil today protested against the evacuation orders on thousands of acres of agricultural land, acquired by the SK Firing Range of the Air Force Station, Halwara.

While the construction of a 6-km-long wall has already started on the site by the Air Force Station, hundreds of farmers facing evacuation staged a dharna in front of the office of Sub Divisional Magistrate, Jagraon. The farmers from villages, including Sadarpura, Gidderwindi, Janetpura, Leelan, Sodhiwal, Sheikh Daulat, Fatehgarh Siwian, Tihara, Daya Kalan and Talwandi Mallian, accompanied by womenfolk, reached the spot and sat on dharna.

They said the move of the Air Force would affect around 20,000 villagers who were dependent on this 3,672-acre of land for their bread and butter. They announced that to protest against the move, they would sit on fast, block traffic on the Ludhiana -Ferozepore Road and stage a rail roko dharna from August 18.

Meanwhile, the construction of the wall was under progress in Talwandi Mallian village today.

The farmers, led by the Action Committee of SK Range, various kisan unions and the Lok Bhalai Party gave a memorandum to the SDM to intervene on humanitarian grounds. They also sent memoranda to the Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Chief Minister of Punjab and the AOC Air Force Station Ludhiana. They demanded that the farmers should be allowed to sow moong crop on the land since sowing of paddy had been delayed. They also demanded that if this is not possible, the villagers should be provided alternative land and houses.

The farmers said that the SK Range was planned in 1962 in Sidwan Kalan village but was shifted due to some reasons to the new location, some 30 km away from the proposed location. The farmers of the area were then being paid Rs 40 per annum as damages till 1972. Later the land was acquired and the farmers were compensated at the rate of Rs 5,000 per acre. The farmers were then allowed to till land on very nominal charges. But suddenly the Air Force asked the farmers to evacuate the land by March 2001.

The memorandum said that the farmers had possession of this land and had receipts of the Air Force Station, Halwara. They had made barren land fertile by removing sand and replaced the top layer of soil by installing tubewells.

The villagers were also facing problems as IAF had acquired panchayat land, cremation ground, playground and school land. They were complaining that due to the use of aircraft for training, the teachers in schools were not able to teach due to noise. They said children were disturbed by constant sound of bombing and other procedures.

Mr Jagdish Singh, president of the Action Committee, SK Range said that the land was lying vacant since April 2001 and the DSC Personal had been deployed to fire at if anybody was seen sowing anything on the land.


5 years and promised job yet to come
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
For Rutal Mahato and Satyan Sahni, two Bihari labourers, it has been a long and an unending road to justice. Five years have passed since they were promised a job by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, and they still await that promise to be fulfilled. They have knocked at every door but without any results. And the doors of the office of the Municipal Commissioner, Ludhiana, Dr S. S. Sandhu, remain permanently shut for them.

Mahato and Sahni had performed a daredevil act in 1996 when three labourers were buried alive in a well they were digging. Since it became almost impossible for the district administration to dig out the bodies, these two divers from Bihar jumped into the caved-in well and searched for the bodies.

It was after a few hours of search that they managed to find out the bodies of the labourers. The district administration at that time had announced a cash reward of Rs 50,000 each for the two labourers besides a job in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. Five years have passed, they are yet to see any one to come with the prize money and an order of appointment.

All these years they have met so many officers including the Commissioners of the municipal corporation and the Deputy Commissioners. “It is no simple thing for us to meet any of these officers because we are not allowed to go in”, Mahato told Ludhiana Tribune outside the Bachat Bhavan in the Mini Secretariat where he had gone along with Sahni to present their case at the weekly sangat darshan. However, the two labourers were all praise for the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S. K. Sandhu, who gave them a patient hearing. "Otherwise, nobody is prepared to listen to us”, they said.

Narrating the sequence of events of 1996, the two labourers said, when the three labourers were trapped under earth, the then Executive Engineer in the MC, who is now the Superintending Engineer, promised them Rs 50,000 each as cash prize, besides job to both of them, if they could retrieve the body. Although it was a dangerous proposition as the well was again and again eroding, they accepted the offer. It was after so many days that the divers managed to take out the bodies. Although they had required some equipment, which was not made available to them, they managed to do the job successfully.

As a token of reward they were given Rs 1,000 each on the Independence Day in 1997, besides a temporary job in the MC. But after some time they were relieved of their jobs. They have on several occasion fished out bodies from the Budha Nullah and the Satluj risking their own life.


Life term for murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
Mr A.K. Sharma, Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, has convicted Sucha Ram (27), of Jalandhar and sentenced him to undergo rigorous life imprisonment for looting and murdering a businessman, Khushal Chand of Sunder Nagar, Ludhiana, on March 22, 1996. The co-accused, Bimal Kumar of Bahadurke Road, Ludhiana, has been sentenced to seven-year rigorous imprisonment under Section 392 of the IPC.

According to prosecution, on March 22, 1996, Khushal Chand was coming from Jalandhar after collecting payments. At about 7 p.m. when he reached the entrance of his house in Sunder Nagar, two persons came from the side of Ritampara School. They stopped the scooter in front of Khushal Chand. Pillion-ridder Sucha Ram alighted from the scooter, took out pistol and ordered Khushal to hand-over the briefcase to him. There was scuffle between Khushal and Sucha Ram. Then Sucha Ram, fired on the left side of the chest of the deceased, which proved fatal.

The incident was witnessed by Piara Lal, brother of the deceased, as he was sitting in the verandah of his brother. When he tried to save his brother, a threat was also given to him.

After examining the 13 witnesses, the court held both the accused guilty and sentenced them.


7-yr RI in dowry death case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
Dowry death case accused Harpreet Singh, alias Preet, resident of Upkar Nagar, Ludhiana, has been sentenced to seven-year rigorous imprisonment by the Additional Sessions Judge, Mr B.S. Mehndiratta. The accused was facing trial for forcing his wife, Ranjit Kaur, to end her life just three months after the marriage.

An FIR was lodged against the accused on April 2,1999, under Section 304-B of the IPC at Kotwali police station, on the statement of Harjinder Kaur, mother of the deceased, wherein she had alleged that the marriage of Ranjit Kaur was solemnised with the accused on November 22, 1998, and sufficient dowry items were given at that time.

Just after one week of marriage, Ranjit Kaur complained that her husband had illicit relations with his bhabi. It was also alleged that she was being maltreated and harassed on the pretext of bringing less dowry.

On April 2 morning, the parents of the deceased received a telephonic message that their daughter had died. Later it was found that she died due to intake of poisonous substance. 


Travelling public at the receiving end
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

How passengers are harassed and fleeced by bus operators?

* Passengers are asked to board another bus in the middle of the journey, often without the bus developing any problem.

* Private buses run without any permit.

* Buses stop at unauthorised and unhygienic dhabas and force commuters to purchase cheap products at high prices.

* Lack of adequate bus service, especially in the evening, allegedly to benefit the Tata Sumos and other taxis, running in the name of ‘Press’ from Samrala Chowk.

* Inadequate checking by the DTO and roadways checking staff.

* The condition of the Punjab Roadways buses is pathetic, forcing the passengers often to leave the journey midway.

Ludhiana, August 6
The private and public sector transport companies are never tired of complaining about their losses without ever mentioning the need to provide minimum facilities to the passengers. In fact, some of the bus operators, especially the private ones, have evolved novel ways to harass and fleece commuters, and make extra money by befooling them and the state exchequer as well by saving road tax.

One of the interesting facts about the daily woes of commuters on the Ludhiana- Chandigarh road came to light today when about 30 passengers were forced to get down by the conductor of Sukhwindra Bus Service (regd.), Patiala at Samrala (bus no PB11 H 5587 ) on the Chandigarh- Ludhiana highway. According to the passengers, they had boarded the bus at Kharar and Mohali, and the conductor promised to alight them at Ludhiana. However, they were in a shock when the conductor reportedly asked them at Samrala to get off the bus and to board another bus that was already packed to full capacity.

Eyewitnesses said women, children and the old persons had to stand in the second bus and the conductor failed to provide any satisfactory answer for the inconvenience caused to the passengers. The enquires made by the Ludhiana Tribune with the District Transport Officer, Mr Bhupinder Singh, bus owner, Mr Harchand Singh at Patiala and other transport operators revealed an interesting story.

The Sukhwindra Bus Service has a permit only for Mohali-Payal route, but it daily picks up 25-30 passengers for Ludhiana from Mohali, Kharar and Morinda, promising them to be dropped at Ludhiana. However, according to the pre-planned arrangement with other bus operators, the conductor drops them at Samrala forcing them to board another bus.

In fact, a number of bus operators on the Chandigarh, Mohali- Ludhiana route and Patiala- Ludhiana route play such foul games with passengers. It is learnt that these bus operators, who do not have the required permit, pick up the passengers and after charging Rs 5- 10 per passenger, they ‘give’ these sawaris to the other conductors after charging fees.

The other common practice allegedly indulged in by operators on the Ludhiana- Chandigarh route is the fleecing of passengers by Punjab Roadways, CTU and PRTC bus drivers and conductors. Though it is just a two-hour journey, buses are stopped at unauthorised and unhygienic dhabas between Samrala and Khamano. They get free meals, drinks and tips though passengers are forced to eat and drink sub-standard products at higher rates.

Mr Amarjit Singh Sandhu, general manager, Punjab Roadways, when contacted said he would enquire into the matter. The buses are also run at a high speed (80-100 km).

Further, at Samrala chowk in the evening Tata Sumos and Mahindra taxi operators, running the vehicles in the name of ‘Press’, pack daily passengers for Chandigarh. The illegal operation of these taxis has been going on unabated without any check of the transport authorities. Mr Bhupinder Singh, DTO, Ludhiana, says, in this regard,’’ we often conduct surprise raids on the route and fine the illegal vehicles” However, he failed to tell the number of vehicles impounded or fined during the past one or two months.

Insiders say due to lack of proper check of the DTO and the general manager, Punjab Roadways, commuters are harassed and fleeced by the public and private bus operators. The state is losing road tax worth lakhs of rupees every month due to illegal operation of these taxis, and thousands of passengers are forced to travel in an uncomfortable and risky environment daily. 


Move on abolition of octroi opposed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
The Punjab Nagarpalika Karamchari Mahasangh has expressed its opposition to the abolition of octroi in Punjab, saying the move would not only adversely affect the development projects in towns and cities, but the local bodies, which collect almost 80 per cent of their revenue from octroi, would find it difficult to pay the salaries of their employees.

The SAD-BJP coalition had listed the abolition of octroi in its election manifesto during the last Assembly elections in 1997 but after coming to power, the government developed cold feet and the issue was pushed on the back burner. However, bowing to persistent pressure by the BJP, the government had once again revived the exercise and a high-level committee had been set up to give its recommendation on the feasibility of octroi abolition.

The mahasangh, which held its biennial session at Patiala on August 4 and 5, further warned the government not to go ahead with the populist measure of abolition of octroi, which would spell disaster for the civic bodies. It also issued a veiled threat that the civic body employees would resort to agitation all over the state, if the government succumbed to political pressure.

Giving more details of the deliberations, Mr Lovely Pal Disawar, who was elected vice-president of the body, told that the session called upon the government to break away from the WTO, scrap the policies of privatisation and disinvestment. Mr Ram Lubhaya Bawa, general secretary, All-India Local Bodies Karamachari Mahasangh, and Mr Kartar Singh Rathor, general secretary, Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, while addressing the meeting termed the Punjab budget as anti-employees.

Other demands put forth by the mahasangh included grant of 12.5 per cent bonus, without ceiling, to all salaried employees, regularisation of services of workers having completed 240 days of service, payment of 12 per cent interest on provident fund, free water supply and sewerage for civic employees and scrapping of contract labour system in local bodies.

Earlier, Mr Balwant Singh Sandhu and Mr Ashok Arora were elected president and general secretary, respectively, of the mahasangh for a three-year term. Other office-bearers elected were Mr Lovely Pal Disawar, vice-president, Mr Khelar Chand Gupta, deputy general secretary, and Mr Amarjit Miglani secretary.


Encroachments on MC land removed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
In its continuing drive against encroachments, the municipal corporation authorities today demolished around 80 jhuggis, other temporary structures and some pucca houses to clear some 1.5 acre of prime land opposite to the Dairy Complex on the Humbran road here.

A large number of encroachments were removed from the same site at an earlier occasion also, but the MC administration had to keep its anti-encroachment campaign in abeyance following a stay order issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The MC Additional Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, who supervised the operation lasting for more than four hours, told Ludhiana Tribune that the fencing work, around the entire stretch of land had commenced to ensure that there were no further encroachments on this site. The officials of the MC Engineering Branch had already arrived on the site to supervise the construction of a boundary wall.

The MC team, comprising the Municipal Town Planner, Mr S.S. Bhatia, the Assistant Town Planner Ms Kamaljit Kaur, accompanied by a large contingent of police and work force, descended on the spot at around 10 am and started the demolition work, with the help of four bulldozers. Although no resistance was offered by the occupants, some of them were seen grumbling that the MC had served no prior notice.

The vacant stretch of land, with heaps of construction material, mud, bricks and straw, that had gone into the making of these structures lying all around, was also dotted with the familiy members of the occupants sitting around their belongings, hastily removed from what were their dwellings a little before. The household articles and other items gathered at various places all around included small items of furniture and electronic goods like televisions and sound systems, besides articles of daily use.

The MC officials, while denying the charge, maintained that the land belonged to the civic body and once the stay granted by the High Court was vacated, the demolition of the jhuggis and other structures was a foregone conclusion. They further claimed that while razing the illegal structures, the MC employees had been told to be considerate to the extent that the occupants could remove their belongings and household articles.


YC protests against massacre
Protesters burn Home Minister’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
Youth Congress activists, led by the district president of the party, Mr Parminder Mehta, took out a protest march in the Manjit Nagar here on Sunday against the massacre of 17 persons in Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir. Holding Union Home Minister Lal Krishan Advani responsible for the continuing killing of innocent persons, belonging to minority community in the valley, the protesters burnt an effigy of the Home Minister in Abdullapur Basti Chowk.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Mehta urged the President of India to dismiss the Union Home Minister for his failure to safeguard the life and property of the people in Jammu and Kashmir. He further demanded dismissal of the National Conference government in the state, headed by Dr Farooq Abdulla and handing over of the administration and the security duty to the Army.

Deploring the unabated violence and terrorist acts in Jammu and Kashmir, the DYC president observed that militants and disruptive elements, supported by Pakistan, were engaged in a blood bath. The three attacks on the people of minority community, within a period of one month had put a question mark on the entire security set up and tall claims of the state and the Central Government.

Prominent among those present at the occasion were Mr Raj Kumar, Mr Vinod Tina, Mr Yadwinder Singh, Mr Arun Bedi, Mr G. S. Arora, Mr Ramesh Tandon, Mr Raj Kumar Raju, Mr Gurmeet Sandhu, Mr Dilbagh Dhillon, Mr Bittu Malhotra, Mr Ajay Kumar, Mr Sarbjit Bunty, Mr Vicky and Ms Manjit Kaur Bhatti.

The Lal Bahadur Shastri Forum has also condemned the incident in which 17 persons were gunned down in the Doda district by militants. In a press release, the forum called for dismissal of the NC government and imposition of president rule in the state.

The Ludhiana Welfare Society, in a separate press release, while condoling the killing of 17 persons in Doda district, has asked the government to beef up the security to safeguard the life and property of the rural population in Jammu and Kashmir. Far from solving any problem, the senseless violence would rather fuel the communal tension and create distance between the two communities, the society pointed out.


Muslim council flays Doda massacre
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
The Indian Muslim Council, Punjab, has asked the Prime Minister to cancel his proposed visit to Pakistan in view of the recent massacre of 17 persons of a community in Doda. Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee should make it clear to Pakistani rulers that until and unless they stopped supporting terrorism in the valley, there could be no dialogue between the two countries.

In a press statement issued here today, Mr Ateeq-ur-Rehman, president of the body, condemned the selective killings by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. He said it appeared that the motive of the terrorists in killing people of a particular community was to provoke communal feelings and cause Hindu-Muslim riots all over the country. He said Islam does not allow killing of innocent people. He said those who killed innocent people were devils not humans. Indian Muslims would not permit an inch of Kashmiri land to Pakistan.

Mr Ateeq-ur-Rehman further said that the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Farooq Abdullah, and the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, should submit their resignations owning moral responsibility for the killings. He demanded that a compensation of Rs 10 lakh be paid to the bereaved families of the victims. 


Govt cracks whip against cruelty to animals
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
The Union Government has enforced stringent regulations for the prevention of cruelty to animals and stern measures have been made mandatory for the registration of performing animals, transportation of animals on foot, conditions in slaughter houses and setting up of infirmaries and shelters for animals.

Giving details of the rules, framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and notified in the Government Gazette on March 26, 2001, Dr Sandeep K. Jain, a member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, told mediapersons here today that with the new rules coming into effect, all performing animals, meant to be trained and exhibited, would have to be registered. The rules would be applicable to circus, horses races, film shooting and any other performance by animals. No whip, except for air-cushioned one, could be used more than three times and no tranquillisers or drugs could be administered to animals, and any person, keeping more than 10 animals, would have to engage a qualified vet on rolls.

The relevant rules, governing transportation of animals on foot have prohibited transportation on foot, of new born animals, diseased, lame, fatigued, likely to give birth or having delivered during preceding 72 hours. Further, no animals would be transported on foot beyond the distance, time, rest interval and temperature, specified for such animals. In conditions of heavy rain, thunderstorm or extremely dry or sultry weather conditions also, the transportation of animals on foot would not be permissible. First-aid equipment, valid certificate and proper food and watering arrangements would be necessary during transportation of animals on foot.

Dr Jain further disclosed that henceforth, for the purpose of transport of poultry birds and pigs by road, rail or air, a valid certificate, issued by an officer or any other person or animal welfare organisation, duly recognised and authorised by the Animal Welfare Board of India, verifying that all relevant central and state acts, rules and orders were duly complied with and the animals were not transported for any other purpose contrary to the provisions of law, would be mandatory. In the event of contravention or non-compliance, such licence or permit would be immediately cancelled.

The new rules would forbid slaughter of animals, except in licensed slaughter houses. No animal, which is pregnant, or has off spring, less than three months old or is under the age of three months or not certified by a veterinary doctor, would be slaughtered. Animals meant for slaughter would be sent to lairage for resting at least 24 hours after veterinary examination. The rules framed under the Act would also regulate conditions in slaughter houses and employees, engaged for this work.

In order to promote the work for prevention of cruelty to animals, the rules provide that every state government, as soon as possible, and in any case within six months of the commencement of these rules, will establish, through notification in the state gazette, a Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in each district. The state government would be further required to provide adequate land and other facilities to such societies for construction of infirmaries and animal shelters. The government would also provide required infrastructural facilities and personnel for these infirmaries and animal shelters, Dr Jain added.


My son was not tortured’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
The torture case of a youth by the Jagraon police took a curious turn today with the parents producing affidavits that the police had just picked him up and he was not tortured.

Interestingly, a news report had quoted them alleging that Harpreet of Cheema village was picked up by the police on change of harassing a girl and her parents and was subjected to a third degree methods at the Sadar police station, Jagraon.

Terming the allegations as baseless, Mr Sukhdev Singh, father of Harpreet Singh, said in the affidavit that his son was not tortured and he was just interrogated by the police.

Mr Sukhdev Singh, however, told mediapersons at Jagraon yesterday that the police had summoned his son in July and he was tortured. When his condition deteriorated he was admitted to a hospital by the police and was later shifted to his residence on August 2. Since then he was lying in an unconscious state.

The affidavit, however, said Harpreet was not in good health for the past several months and was bedridden.


An evening of fun and frolic
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
Last evening was full of fun and frolic, flavoured with good music as members of Sutlej Club celebrated Friendship Day, at the club lawns. The club was tastefully decorated with flowers and colourful hangings of satins, tissues and nets. Children, youngsters and old ones had a gala time enjoying the memorable moments.

The main attraction of the evening was latest numbers sung by VJ Vandana Vadhera in her melodious voice. Her numbers, ‘My heart will go on’, ‘Jahan teri yeh nazar hai’, ‘Sona disda’, were appreciated by the members. People enjoyed and danced to the various tunes of DJ Bhanu.

Members and guests were dressed in western and Indian outfits. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, and his wife, Bubbly Sandhu, were the guests of honour. 


I am not Sheikh Chilli’ comes to Ludhiana
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 6
‘I am not Sheikh Chili’ is a contemporary adaptation of Herb Gardener’s ‘I’m not Rappoport’, which was first produced successfully on Broadway and it went on to get the best play of the season and the Tony Award. The play by the Yatrik Theatre, New Delhi, would be staged in Ludhiana on August 11 at the Guru Nanak Bhavan. The Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam, a voluntary organisation floated to promote art and culture, has been giving high-quality performances in Ludhiana since January 1999. The adaptation of the play by the Yatrik Theatre makes the play contemporary and relevant to the Indian milieu.

Comedy springs out in the friendship of two old men from completely different backgrounds. In order to give a dramatic expression to these contrasting attitudes, numerous other characters are weaved. Scenes involving soft-spoken Malhotra trying to fire King Nat and Das loving exasperated daughter are the most dramatically successful interactions.

In order to crank up the entertainment, character, like a sadistic booligan who victimises an old men and a cruel dealer who torments a young artist, are also featured.

Almost melodramatic in parts, the play is a charmer like the characters, and is an absolute treat.

The playwright plays poker with language, misdirecting the audience’s eye with flashes of wisdom and humour.

Omkar Goswami ad Avijit Dutt play the two leads. Teejeesh Singh, Isha Joshi, Piu Dutt, Jagat Rathore and Ashutosh Porus play the other characters. The play is designed and directed by Avijit Dutt and produced by Joy Michael and Amarjit Singh for the Yatrik Theatre Group. Yatrik, the oldest English theatre group in Delhi, is now working on ‘I’m not bandwagon’ under Avijit Dutt’s direction.

The personal rapport among Omkar Goswami, a leading economist, and Avijit Dutt helps to raise the general standard of the production, which though sustained by imaginative sets has to contend with the constrictive basement theatre stage and its lack of proper entry and exit points. The play would be a refreshing treat for the discerning theatre lovers of Ludhiana.


BSP threatens stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
The Bahujan Samaj Party has threatened to gherao police stations and the SSP’s office if an accused in the rape case of a Dalit minor girl was not arrested immediately.

In a press release here today, Mr Gurdial Chand, Secretary, BSP, Punjab, said the girl (7) was found unconscious after an unknown migrant raped her with the active connivance of Meena, another migrant woman. The case was reported on July 30 to the Koom Kalan Police Station where the victim recognised the accused in an identification parade. The accused was arrested and the SHO assured the 300 odd persons present there at that time that appropriate action would be taken against the accused.

But later , the police was pressurised by leaders of the Akali Dal and the BJP into favouring the accused as a result of which the accused was set free by the police. While the accomplice, Meena Devi, was still in police custody, the man accused was now roaming about and threatening that he would get the raped girl liquidated, he added.

Mr Gurdial Chand said the BSP had decided to take up the case on behalf of the Dalit family and that if the police did not arrest the accused immediately, the party would gherao the Koom Kalan Police Station and other police stations in the area. Even the office of the SSP would be gheraoed to get the accused arrested, he added.


Dharna staged in front of DC’s office
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 6
A large number of people led by Dr Harbans Lal, MLA, today staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office in protest against the failure of the police to control the increasing incidents of looting and killings and for not making any breakthrough in the recent murders in Sirhind and Mandi Gobindgarh towns of the district.

Addressing the dharna Dr Harbans Lal said it is unfortunate that in the recent times the incident of looting and killings have increased manyfold and the police has miserably failed to solve any of the incident. He said two murder incidents at Sirhind and Mandigobindgarh towns in which five family members were murdered and robbed by dacoits, have filled a sense of insecurity and terror among the people. The residents of these towns were having sleepless nights and have started ‘thikri pehras’ for self-defence, he said.

Mr Sadhu Singh, a former minister, in his address strongly criticised the government as it has failed on every front. He said the main and prime duty of the government was to ensure law and order and to save the life and property of the people but the recent murders have exposed the security arrangements of the police.

Ms Prem Lata, District President, Mahila Congress, alleged that such incidents have increased under some calculated conspiracy. She urged the people to unite and get ready for self-defence as the security system of the government has collapsed.


Front formed to help terrorism-hit families
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
A faction of the state Congress party set up a voluntary organisation, Indian Yough Anti-Terrorist Front, here today. The main objective of the front would be to help terrorism-affected families.

The chairman of the newly constituted organisation, Mr Varun Mehta, said as a first step in this direction, the body would seek support of about 113 terrorism-affected families in the district. After this, it would launch other programmes to unite these families across the state to fight for their rights.

Meanwhile, the front has condemned the killing of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir by militants. The front would burn an effigy of Pervez Musharraf and flag of Pakistan on August 14 at Shiv Mandir Chowk, Vrindaban Road.

The president of the front, Mr Parveen Bakshi Soni, criticised the policy of the government for giving jobs to family members of militants. He demanded formulation of district-level committees for the rehabilitation of terrorism-affected families.

The front would also highlight problems of cops who fought against terrorism in the state. Other office-bearers of the front are Mr Rajinder Nihala, vice-president, Mr Sat Pal Sagar, general secretary, Mr Jai Parkash and Ashok Bhardwaj, patrons.


Tejpal Sathi remembered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
Tejpal Sathi, founder of the Rashtriya Hindu Shiv Sena, was remembered on his martyrdom day at a function organised at Arya Samaj Bhavan, Dal Bazar, here yesterday.

Paying tributes to the Shiv Sena leader, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, Deputy Speaker, Punjab, said that the martyr sacrificed his life so that mutual brotherhood could be maintained and it was for the same purpose that he founded the Shiv Sena.

Mr Roshan Lal Arya, president, Arya Sabha, said that following the path shown by the country’s martyrs was the only way to pay tributes to them. Had Satpal Sathi not come forward, many more innocents would have been killed, he added.

The others who spoke on the occasion included Swami Shobhanand, Mr Atam Parkash Arora, Mr. Harish Bedi and Mrs Subh Lata Bhandari. 


Councillors blamed for bad condition of parks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 6
The District Youth Congress (Urban) today blamed the city's councillors for the pitiable condition of the city's parks.

Mr Sarabjit Singh “Bunty”, Senior Vice-president of the party's unit, said here today in a press release that there were heaps of rubbish in various parks of the city where stagnant water was providing breeding to grounds for mosquitoes. Fountains were in a rusted condition. He said while on the one hand the administration was claiming to initiate malaria control measures, on the other hand, it was producing conditions favourable for the spread of the disease.

He alleged that in order to cover up various scams in the corporation with regards to maintenance of public parks, a new scheme of contracting out the maintenance of parks at Re 1 per square metre per month had been launched. But the councillors were cheating the Municipal Corporation by giving these maintenance contracts to their own men. Maintenance was being done only on records, he alleged.

Demanding a thorough probe into the allotment of these maintenance contracts, Mr Sarabjit Singh said those found guilty should be punished according to the law.


One dies, two hurt in accident

Doraha, August 6
One person was reportedly killed and two were injured in a road accident which took place near Ghudani Khurd village. According to sources, Ranjit Singh of Ghalori, who was travelling on a scooter, was killed in the accident. Another person, who was travelling along with him, was injured. A pedestrian was also injured. Both were admitted to the Civil Hospital. A case has been registered at the Payal Police station.

Liquor seized: The Payal police seized 24 bottles of illicit liquor on Sunday. Twelve bottles of liquor were seized from Darshan Singh of Rurki Kalan village by ASI Balbir Singh and 12 bottles from Gurpreet Singh Turmari in Payal. A case has been registered.


In-laws booked: A woman reportedly committed suicide by consuming poison. According to sources, Palwinder Kaur of Phagwara was married to Ranjit Singh of Pangalian village 15 years back. She was being allegedly tortured by her in-laws for sometime and money was demanded from here. She was very upset due to this. She reportedly consumed poison due to her inability to face the continuous pressure of her in-laws. When her condition worsened, she was admitted to Sidhu Hospital, Doraha, where she died.

The police has sent the body for a post-mortem examination. A case has been registered against Ranjit Singh and his two brothers on the complaint of the parents of Palwinder Kaur.


Case registered: The police has registered a case under Sections 356, 186, 506 and 34 of the IPC against Sher Singh, Ram Singh and Gurbachan Singh of Manderan village and Bhinder Singh of Ranwan village on charge of threatening the local BDPO for giving a judgement against them. 


Property dispute makes youth commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
A 26-year-old youth allegedly committed suicide this morning due to a family dispute over property. His body was recovered from a park opposite Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School. The police has registered a case of abetment to suicide against his father and brother. No one has, however, been arrested so far.

The youth, Arminder Singh, was found dead in the park this morning. His body was spotted by some policemen on traffic duty near the school at about 6.30 a.m. The youth had come to the park on a motor cycle, which was found parked there. The body bore no injury marks. The post-mortem examination has suggested that the youth could have consumed some poisonous substance. For further verification, the viscera had been sent to State Chemical and Examiner Laboratory, Patiala.

The Sarabha Nagar police said it had booked Gurjit Singh and Ramanjit Singh, father and brother, respectively, of the deceased for allegedly driving the youth to end his life.

The police said the youth was married and was working as a marketing executive with a private telephone company.

His family life was disturbed as his parents were living separately for the past several years. He was living in Gopal Nagar with his mother, while his brother was living with his father.

The police said it had registered the case on the basis of the statement of the wife and in-laws of the deceased. According to them, the youth had been disturbed for the past several days due to a property dispute with his brother and father. The family had a bitter fight last evening also. The family members, however, suspect that the youth might have been poisoned also.


Chilli powder gang busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
The Jagraon police today claimed to have busted a gang of robbers that used to rob people after putting chilli powder in their eyes.

Jagraon SSP Balkar Singh said two members of the gang, Tarsem Singh and Sulakhan Singh, had been arrested after they had robbed a resident of Bhammipura village. The robbers had snatched cash from him and run away with his scooter, which was later recovered from them.

The SSP said the police was looking for the gang members as they had committed a large number of snatching and robbery incidents in the police district in the last couple of months.

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